How gratitude changes you and your brain

Two scientific studies from the  Greater Good Magazine  show that neuroscience explains the power of gratitude in our body and its effects are relatively long lasting.

Wong and Brown  describe brain function in the process of writing gratitude letters , suggesting that this improves mental health, and in the usual ‘preliminary’ fMRI studies.

”… When we compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, those who wrote gratitude letters showed greater activation of the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude on the fMRI scanner. It is amazing how this effect was found three months after the letter was written. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude can have lasting effects on the brain . ”

And,  Fox discusses his work  :

“… Our data suggest that because gratitude depends on the brain networks associated with social connection and stress relief, this may partly explain how feelings of gratitude lead to health benefits over time . Feeling grateful and acknowledging the help of others creates a more relaxed body state and allows the later benefits of lowered stress to wash us away. ”

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